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The Leach Report Weekdays, 8-9a
The Leach Report Weekdays, 8-9a
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The Morning Tip-off with Michael Bennett weekdays 7-8
The Morning Tip-off with Michael Bennett weekdays 7-8
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Thanks Jeff, for the last 5 years!
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Thanks Jeff, for the last 5 years!
The Dan Patrick Show, Weekdays 11a-2p
The Dan Patrick Show,  Weekdays 11a-2p
The Dan Patrick Show,  Weekdays 11a-2p
Kentucky will host Kansas on Jan. 26 in the headline matchup of the 2019 SEC-Big 12 Challenge.

The one-day event pits all 10 Big 12 schools against 10 of the Southeastern Conference's 14 members on various campuses.

Other matchups this year include Alabama at Baylor, Arkansas at Texas Tech, Florida at TCU, Texas at Georgia, Iowa State at Mississippi, South Carolina at Oklahoma State, West Virginia at Tennessee, Kansas State at Texas A&M and Vanderbilt at Oklahoma.

The SEC schools that won't be participating in the 2019 SEC/Big 12 Challenge are Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State and Missouri.

The SEC won last season's event 6-4. It marked the first time in the event's five-year history that the SEC had finished above .500, though the 2017 Challenge ended in a 5-all tie.

Josh Harrison came off the disabled list just in time to give his hometown a show.

Harrison tripled home the go-ahead run in the 12th inning — his fourth hit of the game — and the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied after wasting a late lead for a 5-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night.

After the Pirates blew a three-run lead in the eighth, their player who grew up in Cincinnati helped them end a four-game losing streak.

Playing in only his third game since he returned from a broken left hand, Harrison had three singles and the 12th-inning triple off Dylan Floro (1-1) that scored Jordy Mercer, who avoided Tucker Barnhart's tag and slid his left hand across the tip of the plate.

"That was the perfect storm for him — playing at home, a lot of people in the stands, coming off the disabled list," manager Clint Hurdle said.

Earlier in his career, Harrison tried — and often failed — to provide a big moment when Pittsburgh visited his hometown. This one came naturally.

"Just coincidence — right man, right spot," Harrison said. "It happened to be at home."

Left-hander Steven Brault (4-1) pitched two innings. Kyle Crick escaped a bases-loaded threat in the 12th for his first career save, retiring Brandon Dixon on a grounder to end it.

Francisco Cervelli hit a two-run homer on Homer Bailey's 10th pitch of the game, and starter Chad Kuhl drove in another run with a bunt single as the Pirates pulled ahead 4-0. The Pirates wasted chances to break the game open by leaving the bases loaded twice.

"I got strikeouts when I wanted to, for the most part," said Bailey, who gave up 10 hits and four runs while pitching into the sixth. "Tonight, a hanging slider in the first inning beat us."

Kuhl allowed only one run while pitching into the seventh — Scooter Gennett homered for the second straight game. The Reds tied it in the eighth as closer Felipe Vazquez blew his second straight save chance, but Harrison rescued the Pirates in the 12th.

"To put on a special performance and be the hero in your hometown is really cool," Kuhl said.

Eugenio Suarez had a sacrifice fly off Michael Feliz. Vazquez came on with two outs and two aboard and gave up RBI singles by Alex Blandino and Jose Peraza that tied it 4-4. Vazquez is 9 for 11 in save opportunities.

STREAKING HARRISON

In his three games back from the broken hand, Harrison has gone 8 for 15 with his first four-hit game since 2016.

LEAVE 'EM LOADED

The Pirates left the bases loaded in the fourth, when Kuhl grounded out for the final out, and again in the sixth. They've left the bases loaded four times in the first two games of the series. Overall this season, the Pirates are batting .153 with the bases loaded.

HOMER'S WOES

Bailey has only one win in 11 starts this season. Over the last four seasons, Bailey has been limited to 37 starts because of elbow surgeries. He's gone 9-19 with a 6.33 ERA.

STREAKING SCOOTER

In his last 14 games, Gennett has seven homers and 20 RBIs.

BULLPEN MOVES

The Reds put closer Raisel Iglesias on the 10-day DL before the game with a strained biceps in his left (non-throwing) arm, along with reliever Austin Brice (strained back). They activated reliever Michael Lorenzen and called up reliever Tanner Rainey. Both pitched in the game.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Pirates: Cervelli took a ball off his right hand while blocking a pitch in the dirt. He left after the 11th inning.

Reds: RHP Anthony DeSclafani is scheduled to make his third rehab start on Friday for Triple-A Louisville. He's been sidelined since spring training by a strained oblique.

UP NEXT

Pirates: Ivan Nova (2-4) is 0-3 with a 4.73 ERA in six starts since his last win on April 15 at Miami. Last season, he lost all of his four starts against Cincinnati, three of them at Great American Ball Park.

Reds: Luis Castillo (3-4) is 0-2 in three career starts against Pittsburgh with a 3.94 ERA.

Dylan Covey's first major league win was both impressive and worth the wait.

Covey tossed seven strong innings, Yoan Moncada and Adam Engel each hit three-run homers and the Chicago White Sox pounded the Baltimore Orioles 11-1 on Wednesday night.

Covey (1-1) allowed one run on six hits and struck out eight in his 20th game and 14th start — and longest outing — in the majors.

"It took a while to get it," Covey said. "It's just been a process for me.

"I learned a lot in Triple-A this year. I think I just became more comfortable with myself on the mound. I don't fight myself anymore."

The 26-year-old right-hander was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte on Saturday to take Carson Fulmer's spot the in rotation after Fulmer was assigned to the farm club.

Covey made one start with Chicago earlier this season, losing on April 28 at Kansas City. He was 0-7 with a 7.71 ERA in 12 starts and six relief appearances in 2017.

In this one, Covey attacked the strike zone with "90 percent fastballs in the first five innings or so," and then got a feel for his off-speed and breaking pitches the third time through the Orioles lineup.

"That was nice for him, his first career victory in pretty convincing fashion," manager Rick Renteria said.

Jose Rondon added his first major league homer, a two-run shot in the seventh, as last-place Chicago rolled to its fifth win in seven games.

"It was a very impressive game, a nice game for us," Rondon said through a translator. "Dylan got his first victory and for me it was my first homer. We were having fun with this game and it felt good."

Baltimore, last in the AL East, has lost four of five overall and is 5-21 on the road.

Moncada's shot to center in a four-run third inning put the White Sox ahead for good after Jace Peterson singled in Baltimore's lone run in the second. Moncada's seventh homer was his first since April 26, a stretch that included time on the disabled list with left hamstring tightness.

Engel, who entered hitting .183, added three singles and matched a career high with four hits. His drive to left in the fifth was his first homer since last September.

Alex Cobb (1-6) lasted just 3 2/3 innings, his shortest outing since April 19. The right-hander allowed six runs on eight hits.

"It's the worst feeling when you're out on the mound and you go through the checklist of adjustments that you normally make to get the ball to do what you want, and it's still not doing it," Cobb said.

Covey looked shaky only in the second, when Baltimore used two singles and a walk to take a 1-0 lead.

In the third, Tim Anderson walked and Engel singled with one out before Moncada connected on a 1-2 pitch from Cobb.

Chicago tacked on two more runs in the fourth on RBI singles by Yolmer Sanchez and Jose Abreu.

Engel's shot with two outs in the in the fifth off Pedro Araujo made it 9-1. Rondon's drive complete the scoring.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: DH/OF Mark Trumbo was unavailable on Wednesday night because of a sore right knee and is day-to-day. Manager Buck Showalter said Trumbo suffered the injury sliding into second base on Tuesday night. ... Showalter said closer Zach Britton (right Achilles tendon) "feels good" after throwing 20 pitches in a one-inning simulated game on Tuesday. Britton is scheduled to toss a two-inning simulated game on Saturday before beginning a rehab assignment. ... RHP Darren O'Day (hyperextended elbow) "didn't feel good enough" to throw a side session on Wednesday, Showalter said.

White Sox: LF Leury Garcia left the game in the fifth inning with a left knee sprain after stealing third. He was replaced by Trayce Thompson. ... DH Matt Davidson (stiff back) was a last-minute scratch before the game. Rondon took his spot. Renteria said both Garcia and Davidson would be re-evaluated on Thursday.

UP NEXT

Orioles right-hander Dylan Bundy (2-6, 4.70) faces White Sox righty Lucas Giolito (3-4, 6.42) in the finale of the four-game series on Thursday. Bundy has been roughed up in four of his last five starts, going 1-4. He was 1-2 with a 1.42 ERA after his first five outings. Giolito has allowed a combined five runs in 11 2/3 innings in his last two starts, both wins. His 34 walks allowed are most in the AL.

Here are scores from Wednesday night's district tournament games featuring local teams.

Baseball

6th District Semifinals
Union County 5, Webster County 2

Softball

2nd District Championship
McCracken County 10, Paducah Tilghman 0 (5 innings)

6th District Semifinals
Henderson County 11, Union County 1 (5 innings)

8th District Championship
Christian County 15, Hopkinsville 0 (3 innings)
Adam Plutko carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning and Andrew Miller provided stellar relief work, helping the Cleveland Indians beat the Chicago Cubs 1-0 on Wednesday night.

Plutko (2-0) struck out four and walked four in his second major league start. The right-hander was promoted from Triple-A Columbus to replace the struggling Josh Tomlin in Cleveland's rotation.

Michael Brantley, Francisco Lindor and Rajai Davis had two hits apiece as the AL Central leaders won for the third time in four games. Brantley extended his hitting streak to 12 games, and Davis also contributed a leaping catch against the wall in center, robbing Addison Russell of a likely run-scoring hit in the second.

The Indians completed a sweep of their two-game set versus the Cubs in their first appearance at Wrigley Field since they lost the 2016 World Series.

Chicago wasted a terrific start by Jon Lester (4-2) in its second straight loss after taking three of four last weekend in Cincinnati. The lefty allowed six hits, struck out four and walked one while lowering his ERA to 2.37 in his 10th start this year.

Plutko was even better. He retired 13 in a row before Anthony Rizzo led off the seventh with a double for Chicago's first hit. Willson Contreras then reached on an infield single, chasing Plutko and putting runners on the corners.

But Miller came in and shut the door, preserving Cleveland's 1-0 lead. He jumped on Javier Baez's bunt right back to him and threw out Rizzo at home. Russell then struck out swinging and Jason Heyward bounced to first, ending the inning.

Miller also got the first two outs of the eighth. After Kyle Schwarber singled, Cody Allen retired Kris Bryant on a fly ball to center. Allen worked the ninth for his seventh save in eight chances.

Plutko also helped the Indians jump in front with a sacrifice in the third, advancing Davis to second after a leadoff single. It was Plutko's first professional plate appearance; he did not bat in the minors or during his college career at UCLA.

Lindor then popped out, but Brantley dumped an RBI single into center. The sweet-swinging Brantley also had two hits and scored twice in Tuesday's 10-1 victory over the Cubs.

AILING

Indians outfielder Brandon Guyer was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a neck strain after he got hurt in a collision with a fan. The injury occurred Saturday when Guyer went after a foul ball in Houston.

"When he went into the stands, he got like a forearm or something," manager Terry Francona said. "We checked him for concussions, but his neck is whiplash-ish kind of, so he hasn't played since that. I think he could've if he had to, but we're trying to be mindful of it."

Guyer is batting .150 with three homers and 10 RBIs in 33 games. The move is retroactive to Sunday.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Indians: OF Bradley Zimmer (bruised left rib) hit in the cage, and Francona said he looked normal. "He's got a couple more days of this," Francona said. "Maybe sometime around Friday-ish, we'll see about what to do with him." ... OF Lonnie Chisenhall (right calf strain) went 0 for 1 and scored a run in his second rehab game with Triple-A Columbus.

UP NEXT

Indians: RHP Mike Clevinger (3-1, 2.87 ERA) starts Thursday night as Cleveland begins a seven-game homestand with the first of four against Houston. RHP Charlie Morton (6-0, 1.94 ERA) pitches for the AL West-leading Astros.

Cubs: Following an off day, RHP Kyle Hendricks (3-3, 3.40 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game series against San Francisco. LHP Derek Holland (2-5, 4.94 ERA) pitches for the Giants on Friday afternoon.